Information and communications technology in government, an historical perspective

KEEFE, Terry and CROWTHER, Paul (2015). Information and communications technology in government, an historical perspective. In: 15th European Conference on eGoverment (ECEG) 2015, University of Portsmouth, UK, 18-19 June 2015. (In Press)

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to address a paradox in e-Government, namely a reputation for failure existing alongside an apparent reality of successful implementation. There are frequent and much publicised stories and statistics about the high rate of failure in e-government projects. Yet at the same time as there seems to be an almost universal adoption of Information and Communications Technologies by governments at all levels, local and national. Our approach is to explore e-Government's origins for an explanation, examining the issue from a historical perspective to see if there are lessons to be learned about the future development and implementation of e-Government. This study and analysis addresses the similarities and differences between the present situation and what has happened in the past. The aim is to use the perspective of history to comment upon the longer term issues and questions which have an impact upon the success and failure of e-Government projects. The study is focused on developments in the UK, but with some reference to experiences in the US, Canada and Australia. The bulk of the research comes from a library search of government studies and reports, supplemented by informal conversations with participants conducted over the last few years. We looked at the history of government Information Technology in the UK from its early role automating data processing to the point now where it is arguably an indispensable mechanism at the heart of both the operation of public administration and the relationship between citizens and government. The analysis suggests that the impact and implications of e-Government have evolved beyond improvements to operational efficiency and better service delivery. The outcomes are a number of observations about the way in which e-Government projects have come to be managed and assessed, together with some core questions to be answered by further research and discussion. Specifically questions are raised about the strategic nature of e-Government and how their value has come to be assessed. We ask whether it is helpful for e-Government to be regarded as a strategic aim as opposed to a strategic enabler, and whether the answer the answer contributes to a mistaken view of e-Government's success.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Depositing User: Terry Keefe
Date Deposited: 22 May 2015 16:13
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2016 00:47
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9840

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